Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Back in the days of college classes for me, which was a very long time ago and yesterday all at once, I had a class (the name escapes me) but it was about politics, probably a sociology class. 

I had to do a class project which I decided would be a film about woman's rights and the journey to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed (I got an A+ and the instructor wanted to keep the tape)...and what happened that caused ERA to have never been added to the Constitution.


I made this film mostly because of the fact that I had been somehow ashamed by my own ignorance...that although Congress passed it in 1972 - it was never ratified by the necessary 38 state legislatures.  Do you know how many people busted their asses to get it THAT far?

Do you know HOW CLOSE it came to being ratified?  Only THREE STATES! 

Yes.  35 states said YES.

Well. I was not alone in this assumption apparently, and I would not be alone today if I still had the assumption that both sexes have equal Constitutional rights. 

In a poll taken in 2012, 72% of the people who took it assumed the Constitution already included a guarantee of equal rights for men and women.


The U.S. Constitution still does not explicitly guarantee that all of the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex.

It includes a provision that we are equally allowed to vote...

Is it just me? Or were women more politically active about women's rights in the 1970's than they are today? And, if they were - why? 

What has happened in the generations of women that followed?

I don't watch this show, but this was posted on the ERA Facebook page and maybe it answers the above questions somewhat...and provides a little hope too.

Not all of us can be encouraged to act by Gloria Steinem personally - but... hey! 

There are still (...42 years later) only three states ratification needed for the ERA to become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

I should think we could all get our overwhelmed selves together and help just a little tiny bit to make it happen. 

I think there are 84 days left to do it this time around. 

Go to this website to check it out if you'd like to help.

So.  Why am I talking about any of this at all? 

Because, looking at which artists of that time I would feature today, I came across a comment made on the WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution website by George...and it just got me thinking about that class project and the ERA ...STILL not part of the Constitution! 

WHY?  Why this backslide to NOT paying attention to something so fundamental as equal rights for all getting put into the language of our Constitution?

George says in the comments section (back in 2007):
     I toured your WACK! site with my wife and mother-in-law this past Sunday. I burnt them out and liked it so much that I returned to spend all day Monday as well. Very well done!
     I had only one disappointment. I would have liked to have seen information that pointed the viewer to what’s going on in the feminist movement today. I felt as if it was saying “these are all the wonderful things that happened back then but it’s history and nothing is really going on now.”
     Perhaps this is just the natural outcropping of the current state of affairs in our country: regressive, militaristic, and ignorant of in the face of human values while ironically espousing “family values”. Nevertheless, it made me sad.
     Perhaps (actually likely) I am just displaying my ignorance on this topic, but when I asked several people there — including the docent who guided us on a wonderful tour for 3 hours — they had absolutely no information to share. It was as if I was asking for an explanation of quantum physics.
     What I was seeking is a simple “If you enjoyed this retrospective, take a look at what’s going on today!”
    The major point still holds true — thanks again for a great show! It was terrific!
It was as if I was asking for an explanation of quantum physics...

Well.  Thanks for noticing, George. 

I notice that too. 

How about you?  Do you notice?

I'll be back talking about another artist from this period of time tomorrow.

'Til then!